Todd Family Blog

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mostly September...and everything else...

Okay, this is it. I'm not pulling my punches this month. I'm going to lay it all out there. This is every picture I've got to post from the last month and a half. Now I'm all caught up and newly resolved to not let myself get so behind. I don't need to say much else; I'm just going to let the pics speak for themselves.

One bit of news some of you may not have heard yet (and if you did, skip to the next paragraph): Brad received a 6 month international assignment in Switzerland! Roche is sending him over on Nov. 16th and he returns in May. I will be staying here to teach all my voice students, but will go and visit, of course. We're very excited and it is a GREAT opportunity for him. A lot of people have asked how that will affect the adoption, but timing-wise it works out perfectly!

So here we go....Your prize for reading all of this is the picture at the end. Don't peak!

The fun for Ashley's wedding continued in late August and September. Here we are getting ready to try some belly dancing at the bachelorette party. Great workout! (Incase you missed it in previous posts, Ashley is one of my friends and former Alpha Phi roommates.)

Fun at the rehearsal!

Ashley's parents, Andi and Jon

Practicing the big moment!

The rehearsal dinner with Miriam and Brad

The Wedding

Having drinks on the deck. Brad had this funny habit all night of snapping a picture right before he took the "real" one. I love the before and after. Don't hate me for posting our unposed moments, girls!

With Megan Shaw, our Alpha Phi roommate for much of our time in the house. Ah, memories....

Dancing with Amy - I think I'm telling Megan to get over there for the picture. That is definitely not a dance move.

Roommates reunited!

Congrats, Ashley and Pat!

On our way home from Milwaukee we watched the first Colts game of the season at Nate and Amanda's. Isn't there something so fun about watching a game with great friends and all yelling at the TV together?

Even my toes were ready for football season to start!

Nate and Amanda's Great Dane, Harley, has a fabulous habit of sitting on the couch like a person. I love it.

Waiting for kickoff! This would have been a great picture except for....Thanks, Brad.

Meeting Norm, Ellen, Jen and Miriam (behind the camera) out in Broad Ripple.

I got to meet Lincoln Hoskins at a brunch with Abby Hoskins and Monique Metzing in Zionsville. I love sweet Lincoln's serious face. He always looks like he is really taking in everything. So cute!

Ridiculously photogenic Abby!

Reliving a favorite past-time: Going to a fall high school football game. A group of us went to watch Zionsville (Brad, myself, Bill and Ryan all graduated from ZCHS) play Westfield. Of course we still root for our Zionsville Eagles!

Ryan, Brad and Monique

It was Lincoln's first game!

Bill and Brad

Zionsville won by quite a lot. Go Eagles!

And over at Bill and Abby's to watch another Colts game. Can you tell how much of the fall revolves around football? I promise, their dog, Gus, likes me more than it looks like he does in this picture :).

We recently got back in touch with one of my good high school friends, Natalie Reynolds. We are all back in Indy now and just realized it! It was great to catch up. I would have recognized her anywhere though it had probably been, what?, 12 years since we had seen each other!

The Supper Club continues! Though we are no longer planning a concert, we can't help but gather and cook around a theme. This was Bourbon Night at Kyle and Lexa's!

Mmmmm...Bread pudding that Lexa made. Thanks for hosting guys!

Fellow soprano Jessica brought her sweet baby, Lilly. Kyle and Lexa's cat, Molly, was a HUGE hit.

As were Brad's shoes!

The Supper Club Crew (Minus our Crown Point representatives, Keith and Elizabeth)
Next up, Oktoberfest at Tim's!

The beginning of October was homecoming week at Butler. It was also my class's 10 year reunion! It was great to return to the Alpha Phi house, see old friends and catch up.

Quite a few girls from my class at Alpha Phi stopped by. Naturally, we had to pose on the stairs. Such a sorority thing to do, right? Ha!

The Phi house went all out for their lawn decoration. Definitely more effort than our class ever put into it. Nice job, girls.

What a surprise to see my good friends, Andrew and Polly! I was hoping they could come, but had no idea that they would be there. It was especially exciting to meet sweet Addie Beth, who couldn't resist trying to eat Big Bro Oliver's curls.

Proud Butler Family

Fun tailgating with Shanna and Megan, two fellow Phi's and close friends with my sister, Jenny.

Boots holding court at the "car bar" while tailgating.

Elizabeth stayed with me all weekend. Brad was on his fishing trip in MN, so it was quite the girls weekend here in Indy.

Elizabeth, Miriam, Katherine and Nina enjoying the tailgate.

Me, Elizabeth and Miriam winding down after a fun morning.

Boots posing with the giant '99 balloons during the reunion lunch.

Later that night...The 10 year reunion continues...
This section should just be called, "Me and My Girls". We had way too much fun when our class rented out the Red Room in Broad Ripple (the neighborhood next to Butler where we've all had some fun nights). Just like old times!

Absolutely adore this picture of me and Elizabeth. Must be framed:

Also love this one with Boots

Dancing with Amy - She and Meg (below) joined the party after our class's hours at the Red Room ended. I'm getting spoiled seeing Amy, who lives in Chicago, once or twice a month lately!

Kat, me, Nina, Miriam, Amy, Meg

This should be called the Chicago Crew after all our good times this past year. Thanks for always hosting us, Kat!

This should look fairly familiar to all the Butler crew out there. Yes, it's Connors. This would be the bar where my YOUNGER sister bought me my first drink on my 21st birthday. They were never much into carding back then.

It should be noted that on the way home Elizabeth was craving White Castle. So, I had my first White Castle experience. You know what? Not too shabby.

The day after the Butler reunion was a lovely shower for Ann McFarland, another fellow Phi. So many of us were in town, it was a perfectly opportunity to get together. We had a wonderful lunch at Serendipity in Carmel and I got to catch up with sorority sisters I hadn't seen in 10 years.

My table: Stacia, Andrea, a friend from Ann's P.A. program, myself and Jen with her adorable baby girl!

The whole group - about half of our original pledge class, as well as a couple other friends of Ann's and her sweet mother. Our bride-to-be, Ann, is in the middle with the black hair and adorable dress.

And happy birthday, Adrienne! We had so much fun meeting Tyler, Adrienne, some of their siblings and friends at Brugge to celebrate Adrienne's 30th.

September had some really beautiful weather. Gracie, who is now officially a therapy dog sporting her vest, loved going for walks on the Monon Trail to practice her skills. Her favorite part is sitting under the table at Bub's Burgers in Carmel and eating bits of my bun, of course.

Lest you think that shepherds are serious guard dogs, this should dispel that. Luke managed to put a hole in his frisbee. Lately, he has been enjoying wearing it as a mask. He literally will walk around for 2 or 3 minutes like this as I laugh.

Brad, the dogs and I enjoyed a trip down to Bloomington to look at new wood stoves last month. We made a day of it and took the dogs to McCormick's Creek for a hike. Cal got his first taste of tromping through a stream - big hit.

Our fabulous dog sitter, Christina, took this. Gracie and Luke jumped in her car one day when she accidentally left the door open. Any chance for a ride!

And here is Christina herself! We've met for brunch a few times at my new favorite spot in Indy, Tulip Noir. During one of our get togethers Christina showed me the photos she framed of her "faves", as she calls our monsters. Awwww.

I don't know what happened the other night. We were going to bed and Gracie had this "look" in her eye. The dogs aren't allowed on the bed/furniture and they follow this rule religiously. But I think Gracie thought I patted the bed for her. Next thing I knew she was flying over our heads and wedging herself between us. Luke and Cal were shocked and eventually joined her. I figured, what the heck for one night. Sure, I would have to strip the bed and wash it all, but it made them awfully happy. Gracie didn't stay for long (she gets hot), but Luke and Cal slept between us all night long. Luke even took up most of my pillow and kicked me in the head a few times as he stretched luxuriously.

No, it has not been repeated, nor will it any time soon.

To my left:

And at my feet:

You know I love to share my home improvement projects. Well, our landscaping in the backyard has been the bane of my existence all summer. Despite multiple weeding sessions, I simply could never keep up with the weeds that literally grew over night. So, this fall I took charge.

Before - Amazingly resilient Indiana weeds. I had no idea anything grew like that.

Laying that fabulous landscaping fabric stuff that will keep the weeds away.

And after! Looking all put together, finally.

We finally got a new wood burning stove today! Our old one wasn't even close to code or EPA standards. Our new one should be able to heat the bulk of our house this winter. Good thing since we had 10 ricks of wood delivered, too! We're excited to burn some warm and toasty fires all winter long.



So, late Monday night I returned from an audition in New York. Fall is the beginning of the crazy audition season for opera singers. I stayed with my sister, Jen, and I don't know how I didn't take a picture of us enjoying great meals and playing with her roommate's dog, Earnest! I'll be there again in Dec. and will definitely catch those. Thanks for being a great host, Jen!

I always see someone I know from school or a music job when I go to an audition. This is at Nola Studios in Manhattan where a lot of my auditions take place. (Glamorous, right? 5:00 on a Monday, lots of nervous singers crammed into a tight hallway. Fun times!) Companies from all over the country rent out rooms to use for their season auditions. This time, I saw one of my favorite people from my time at Ash Lawn Opera, my coach/accompanist Josephine! It was so great to catch up with her. One of the first things she said is, "Oh my gosh, I read your blog!" So, I had to take a picture of us so that I could put her on it!

I would like to end with this picture that Miriam found. Do I even need to say anything? Those of you that know Brad know how happy this picture made him:

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